Home / DoD / Harry Harris: PACOM to Continue ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Ops in South China Sea

Harry Harris: PACOM to Continue ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Ops in South China Sea

Adm. Harry Harris Jr.
Adm. Harry Harris Jr.

Adm. Harry Harris Jr., head of U.S. Pacific Command, has said the command plans to increase the number and scope of missions intended to challenge Chinese ownership claims over South China Sea reefs and islands, USNI News reported Wednesday.

John Grady writes Harris told his audience at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event in Washington that China has reclaimed nearly 3,000 acres of coral reef area over an 18-month period.

The U.S. sent a USS Lassen guided-missile destroyer near the artificial Subi Reef island in October as part of “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea.

“I believe that the Lassen operation did challenge some aspects of China’s claims,” Harris noted.

He also believes that having multiple allies in the Asia Pacific is one of U.S’ asymmetric advantages over China, Sydney Freedberg Jr. reported for Breaking Defense.

Harris met with Chinese military officials last fall and said they were rigid about China’s  ownership of disputed islands and their natural resources, Freedberg writes.

“I made clear my view, my personal view, that those islands do not belong to China and that the land reclamation activities [i.e. island building] were increasing the tensions in the region,” Harris added.

Check Also

DARPA Launches Program Seeking High Performance Computing for Military Simulators

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a new program to improve how virtual training environments replicate real-world interactions and host more complex systems. DARPA unveiled Monday that the Digital RF Battlespace Emulator program intends to build a new breed of High Performance Computing capable of supporting advanced radio frequency for simulators. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *